corned beef keto

Is Corned Beef Keto Friendly?

Corned beef is a unique type of dish. Many people adore this pink, salty, yet sweet and sour beef with a side of horseradish sauce. They enjoy it as an ingredient in many recipes across many different cuisines. It is tasty, easy to combine with all kinds of side dishes, other meats, and salads. It can be cooked in a slow cooker or instant pot, and it also goes well on Rueben sandwiches, but it is consumed on its own as well. 

However, when you are on the keto or a low-carb diet, you need to track every carb you put in your mouth, which is why keto recipes have nutritional macros. Even for things that you would not normally think there may have any carbs. Nowadays, manufacturers put sugar even in beef. A lot of people cook corned beef to make Rueben sandwiches – this could be made keto-friendly and low carb by lettuce-wrapping instead of consuming the bread.

So, can you eat slice corned beef on keto or a low-carb diet? To find out, keep on reading!

What Is Corned Beef?

This dish also has another name. People in the British Commonwealth of Nations call it salt beef. And the reason is obvious. This type of beef is salt-cured, typically in corned beef brisket. People then boil the brisket in brine until it simmers. In the brine, they may add sugar or spices to further enhance its flavor. Then they typically serve it cold. 

The term “corned” does not mean that it contains any corn. It is called corned beef because of the type of salt people use to treat the meat. They treat it with corns of salt, which is large-grained rock salt. People sometimes add spices and sugar to the beef to give it a more flavourful taste. 

Its familiar pink color comes from the addition of nitrates. They convert the myoglobin in the meat to nitrosomyoglobin, which gives it its vibrant pink color. They also contribute to the longevity of the dish. People will use leftover corned beef in many dishes, but a favorite is to make it into a corned beef hash.

Its origins are unknown. However, people think that it first appeared when people started curing meat with salt. Because this treatment made it easy to preserve meat, this dish was a part of many peoples’ diets in many wars. Including World War I and World War II. 

Corned Beef Nutrition Facts

Below, we have the nutritional information on 100 grams of corned beef. Keep in mind that some manufacturers add preservatives, additives, and sugar to their products. Always make sure you read the label. (*)

Calories250 kcal
Protein27.1 grams
Fat14.9 grams
Total Carbs0 grams
Fiber0 grams
Net Carbs0 grams

Is Corned Beef healthy?

This tender and flavorful meat has some essential nutrients. Similar to most meat products, it is high in protein, vitamin B12, and iron. These nutrients provide many benefits individually. However, they play an important role when they collaborate. They play a role in creating and keeping red blood cells healthy. (*)

It is also high in selenium. Selenium contributes to the making of DNA, as well as thyroid hormones. It is also a powerful antioxidant that protects from oxidative damage. (*)

While it has some health benefits, there is research that has concluded that red meat consumption, especially processed meat, has some harmful effects. Studies have shown that it may increase the risk of death, some types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially classified processed meat as a carcinogen. (*) (*)

Additionally, it contains a lot of salt, specifically sodium. Salt, or sodium, raises blood pressure in some people. However, if you are at the beginning of your keto journey salt can be beneficial. It can help keep the electrolyte balance and prevent or lessen symptoms of the keto flu. The keto flu occurs often at the beginning when you are starting to enter into ketosis and mimics the symptoms of the flu. 

Can You Eat Corned Beef On Keto Diet?

This flavourful, tender meat is a favorite among many people of all generations. Nutritionally per 100 grams, it contains 250 calories, 27 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, and no carbs. It contains high amounts of sodium. Depending on the manufacturer it might contain sugar, preservatives and other spices. 

Therefore keto corned beef is high in protein, moderately high in fat, and contains no carbs. And, it has salt to keep you from the keto flu. It has iron, B12, and selenium, which are beneficial. However, it is still processed food that contains additives and preservatives. They are typically avoided on a strict keto diet. Processed meats are known carcinogens and may also cause other chronic conditions. 

So, let’s answer the question. Can you eat cooked corned beef on the keto diet? The answer is NO if you are on a strict keto diet. The reason for this is because it is processed food. And, depending on the manufacturer, it can be highly processed and filled with preservatives and additives.

However, If you are not on a strict keto diet and you love corned beef and want to consume it, you can. It is a great source of protein and fat to keep you in ketosis but does not have carbs. It has lots of salt to prevent and lessen symptoms of the keto flu. And, it is delicious! If you can, try olive oil homemade corned beef with a little bit of garlic powder. A popular way to eat this dish is to cook keto corned beef and cabbage with a dash of horseradish sauce. Just make sure it is fully cooked!

Bottom line:

Is corned beef keto-friendly?

It is not strictly keto-friendly. However, if you are on a dirty keto or a low-carb diet, you can eat it. 

Is corned beef made with corn?

There is no corn in this meat. The term is because of the type of salt used to treat the meat- cornes of salt. 

How many net carbs does corned beef have?

The typical product does not have any net carbs. However, some brands may use sugar that will increase the net carb number. 


This meat product dates back to the beginning when people started preserving meat with the help of salt. Its history is not known, but due to its longevity, it was used throughout many wars. Including World War I and World War II. 

It is a salted beef brisket that is brined with a brine of spices and/or sugar. People eat it by itself, in sandwiches, as a side dish or with other side dishes. It does very well in an instant pot also.

Nutritionally it contains 250 calories, 27 grams of protein, and 15 grams of fat. It does not have any carbs. However, the nutritional information may vary from brand to brand. That is why it is crucial to read the labels of every product you purchase. 

Just like other meats, this also contains protein, iron, and B12, as well as selenium. These nutrients are beneficial by themselves or by collaborating and combining themselves. Unfortunately, people process this product. It may also contain preservatives and additives, as well as sugar. 

That is why we would not recommend it if you are on a strict keto diet. However, if you are not on a strict keto diet, you can still enjoy it! 

*image by fahrwasser/depositphotos

Scroll to Top